10.3 Hierarchical Methods

While partitioning methods meet the basic clustering requirement of organizing a set of objects into a number of exclusive groups, in some situations we may want to partition our data into groups at different levels such as in a hierarchy. A hierarchical clustering method works by grouping data objects into a hierarchy or “tree” of clusters.

Representing data objects in the form of a hierarchy is useful for data summarization and visualization. For example, as the manager of human resources at AllElectronics, you may organize your employees into major groups such as executives, managers, and staff. You can further partition these groups into smaller subgroups. For instance, the general group of staff can be further divided ...

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